un·​wor·​thy | \ˌən-ˈwər-t͟hē \

Definition of unworthy 

1a : lacking in excellence or value : poor, worthless

b : base, dishonorable

2 : not meritorious : undeserving unworthy of attention

3 : not deserved : unmerited unworthy treatment

4 : inappropriate to one's condition or station actions unworthy of a gentleman

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Other Words from unworthy

unworthily \ ˌən-​ˈwər-​t͟hə-​lē \ adverb
unworthiness \ ˌən-​ˈwər-​t͟hē-​nəs \ noun

Examples of unworthy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

At 11-11, Federer played a service game unworthy of him, double-faulting and dumping a routine ball to give Anderson the game. Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Four Thoughts From Four Quarterfinals: Rafa-Djokovic to Meet, Federer Upset," 11 July 2018 Grimm hammered Donovan as a moderate unworthy of the Trump GOP, most notably when Donovan voted against the GOP tax cuts last year. Bill Barrow, The Seattle Times, "Things to Know: Trump looms over Tuesday’s primaries," 25 June 2018 Trump advisers also took up the attack in appearances on Sunday’s news shows, leveling more withering and unprecedented criticism against Trudeau, branding him a back-stabber unworthy of Trump’s time. Zeke Miller, Washington Post, "Trump: Trudeau’s criticism will cost Canada ‘a lot of money’," 12 June 2018 Two of the bottles carried the appellation Bourgogne Aligoté, a reminder that the Burgundians themselves have deemed aligoté unworthy of carrying a more specific designation of place. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Aligoté Defense Rests," 28 June 2018 Fake scandals, #fakenews: Each treatment, on its own, is silly, to the point that either would seem unworthy of much attention. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Brett Kavanaugh, Jim Jordan, and the Fog of the Partisan," 13 July 2018 Paul Bender, an Arizona State University law professor and dean emeritus for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, said the memos were unworthy of serious consideration. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Joe Arpaio asks AG Jeff Sessions to investigate his 2016 defeat in sheriff's race," 21 June 2018 Most of all, Iskra says that the mirror challenge is about undoing what society has told us is worth or unworthy about ourselves. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "Iskra Lawrence’s New Makeover Show "The Mirror Challenge" Is About Self-Love," 6 June 2018 My husband, Dave, declared me unworthy of the task and tackled it himself. Murr Brewster, The Christian Science Monitor, "Attack of the purple ‘bean trees’," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unworthy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of unworthy

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for unworthy

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for unworthy

The first known use of unworthy was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of unworthy

: not good enough to deserve something or someone : not worthy

: not appropriate or acceptable for a good or respected person


un·​wor·​thy | \ˌən-ˈwər-t͟hē \
unworthier; unworthiest

Kids Definition of unworthy

1 : not deserving someone or something He's unworthy of such praise.

2 : not appropriate for a particular kind of person or thing That behavior is unworthy of you.

Other Words from unworthy

unworthiness \ -​t͟hē-​nəs \ noun



Legal Definition of unworthy 

: not meritorious specifically, in the civil law of Louisiana : being or relating to an heir who is deprived of the right to inherit from a person because of a failure in a duty towards the person

Other Words from unworthy

unworthiness noun

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Comments on unworthy

What made you want to look up unworthy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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